Egyptian Aak: Week 20

Not the best of weeks for the new Egypt



(Photo via the Brotherhood’s website, Ikhwanweb)

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The Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN) / The evolving Taleban: Changes in the insurgency’s DNA

Ahmad, Clandestine Organiser


Ahmad is 27 years old, a Pashtun from Loya Paktia who finished his madrassa education in the late 1990s, when the Taleban were ruling Kabul and most of the country. The completion of his early education coincided with the aftermath of the fall of the Emirate, when the remnants of the Taleban regime were re-organizing across the Pakistani-Afghan border. In late 2001, his family, who had earlier spent time in Pakistan and had returned to Afghanistan during the Taleban regime, once again escaped across the border to flee the advancing Northern Alliance.


In 2003, he proceeded to a Pakistani madrassa, in Hangu, to further his religious education. During the two years he spent there, he was deemed promising enough by his teachers to be selected for a para-military training course held in _town, in Punjab (3); there, Ahmad’s studies radically shifted focus and he found himself being groomed, by nonuniformed men he described as para-military instructors, to be an operative deployed in the field. In Punjab, he received a fully-fledged military education, studied basic English and IT and most importantly, was trained to operate undercover while maintaining a public persona that allowed him to live an ostensibly normal life once back in Afghanistan.


Ahmad was trained to become not a field commander in charge of a combat unit, but an officer tasked with organising military operations at district or province level and as a member of an underground structure active far and wide throughout Afghan civil society. Once his training had been completed, and now in his early 20s, Ahmad travelled back to Afghanistan, as a dual citizen. His Pakistani passport and the position of his family, who were now legalised as permanent residents and provided, in kind, with the basics of subsistence, served as reminders of the services he would have to render to those who trained him.

via The Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN) / The evolving Taleban: Changes in the insurgency’s DNA.

Lebanon’s Oldest Church Discovered & Will Be Destroyed Soon?

Money, money, money before spirit, history, culture, people!

A Separate State of Mind | A Blog by Elie Fares

Update: the site MAY be saved.

Downtown Beirut: the gift that keeps on giving when it comes to archeology. After a blogger (link) and Daily Star journalists were assaulted for taking pictures at the District S site, it turned out a nearby site, where the Roman gate and road were discovered, was more important than originally perceived.

Our ministry of culture Gaby Layoun has no problem in allowing the demolitions at the site in question to continue. But new evidence is now surfacing according to this source that the site in question may contain Lebanon’s first and oldest Church. And yes, that possible Church is part of the things that are going to be destroyed as well.

What will replace the Roman gate and road as well as the potential Church? A five star hotel and mall. Because that’s precisely what Downtown Beirut is so desperately lacking…

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Kasich’s Medicaid expansion would help Ohio’s veterans: Thomas Moe and Victor Wilson |

It’s not often that we see people on both ends of the political spectrum come together for a common purpose, but that’s exactly what happened in April when thousands of people rallied on the Statehouse lawn in support of expanding health care to more than 275,000 low-income Ohioans, most of whom have jobs and are working taxpayers. Side by side in the pouring rain stood Republicans, Democrats, business groups, union members, advocates for the mentally ill and addicted, hospital officials and health care workers — all with the goal of passing Medicaid expansion.

via Kasich’s Medicaid expansion would help Ohio’s veterans: Thomas Moe and Victor Wilson |

Palestinian vehicle burned by settler Molotov | Maan News Agency

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Settlers from Beit El on Saturday evening threw a Molotov cocktail toward Palestinian vehicles on the Ramallah-Nablus road and near al-Jalazun refugee camp north of Ramallah.

The settlers threw Molotovs toward more than one Palestinian car, and even toward passers-by.

A Palestinian car completely burned due to a Molotov cocktail. No injuries were recorded. The driver of the car was able to escape without incident.

Civil defense crews rushed to the area and extinguished the fire.

via Palestinian vehicle burned by settler Molotov | Maan News Agency.

Sinai and the New Naksa


Forty-six years ago, in what Egyptians describe as the Naksa, Egypt lost Sinai to Israel during the 6-Days War. Egypt is now witnessing a new Naksa episode. Naksa 2 is unfolding in which Sinai is gradually slipping out of control of the central authority and falling under the influence of non-state players. These players are a ghostly bunch that hide in the mountains and commit various act of terror under various pretexts. Ironically, the attackers are not really “enemies,” but they are brothers of the “Brothers,” and part of the large Islamist tribe that currently rules Egypt.

This probably explains the following statement published in the official FB of the Egyptian presidency following the kidnapping of three policemen and four soldiers in Northern Sinai early this week, “The President gave his order to continue the efforts to release the kidnapped soldiers and is keen on keeping both the kidnapped…

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